Hi-Ho Mistahey!

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Alanis Obomsawin’s Hi-Ho Mistahey! (Cree for “I love you forever”), is a feature length Canadian documentary that profiles Shannen’s Dream, an activist campaign inspired by the work of Shannen Koostachin, a Cree teenager from Attawapiskat, who wanted to lobby for improved educational opportunities for First Nations youth.  Read more about Shannen’s Dream on the website for the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013 and was short-listed for a Canadian Screen Award.

Alanis Obomsawin is a Canadian filmmaker of Abenaki descent.  Best known documentary is Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, about the 1990 siege at Oka, Quebec, she has produced and directed many National Film Board of Canada documentaries on First Nations culture and history.  She leaned of Koostachin’s story from children’s rights activist Dr. Cindy Blackstock. Continue reading “Hi-Ho Mistahey!”

Surkhaab

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Shot on location in Toronto and Chandigarh, Toronto-based writer/director Sanjay Talreja‘s feature film debut Surkhaab is described as “a week in the life of a human being trafficked.”

“Jeet, has spent her formative years training hard to become a state level Judo champion. The discipline required has made Jeet into a straight shooter, who is unafraid to say things as they are. Now, trying to adjust to a life after sports, she finds herself tackling the chauvinistic and corrupt world of a life in a village in Punjab… Although she has no trust in them, Jeet is forced to ask the help of the local hustler Balbir and his nephew Kuldeep. Through them she obtains a counterfeit visa to come to see her brother in Toronto.” – Surkhaab Press Kit

The film recently won Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director awards at the London International Film Festival, the Remi Platinum Award for Best Feature at the Houston World Fest and Best Producers at the Madrid Film Festival. Here’s the trailer.

Continue reading “Surkhaab”

Ottawa Filmmakers – Season 2

Ottawa Filmmakers web series - Jith Paul ocanfilmfest

I’m pleased to announce that a second season of the Ottawa Filmmakers web series is in the works.  Here’s a behind-the-scenes photo taken during the set-up / pre-interview chat between Monique Fuller and local filmmaker Stephen Coleman at CKCU in Ottawa from an upcoming episode. – Jith Paul

Past webisodes are available here.

 

Incendies

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

“Nawal (Lubna Azabal), a dying Middle Eastern woman living in Montreal, leaves separate letters to her twin children to be read once she passes away. Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) is to deliver hers to the father the twins never knew, and Simon (Maxim Gaudette) is to give his to the brother they never knew they had. The siblings travel to the Middle East separately, where they each experience acts of brutality, uncover a startling family history, and have revelations about themselves.” – IMDB

Denis Villeneuve‘s Oscar-nominated adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad‘s play Incendies is available on YouTube and streaming on Netflix Canada.  Here’s the trailer.

Continue reading “Incendies”

Diamond Tongues

Spotlight on Canadian Films - OCanFilmFest

Edith Welland dreams of being a successful actress but just can’t seem to make things happen. Things get worse when the ex-boyfriend she broke up with to focus on her career takes up acting on a whim and immediately books a leading role. When Edith can’t figure out what she’s doing wrong, she begins to do everything wrong. Set in Toronto, Diamond Tongues is a dramatic comedy about insecurity, uncertainty, unhealthy competition, and just about everything else between the lines. — NXNE

Directed by Pavan Moondi & Brian Robertson, the film stars Leah Goldstein (a.k.a. Leah Fay of the band July Talk).  The film is currently available on YouTube, on iTunes and Netflix Canada. Here’s  the trailer.